|[December 19, 2012]
ADEA Journal of Dental Education Article Offers Best Practices for Oral Health Policy Programs for Dental Students
WASHINGTON --(Business Wire)--
A new article published in the December issue of the Journal of
Dental Education (JDE), a scholarly publication from the American
Dental Education Association (ADEA), examines a replicable program model
for student involvement in oral health care advocacy in order to offer
best practices for future implementation at other institutions. "Oral
Health Policy Forum: Developing Dental Student Knowledge and Skills for
Health Policy Advocacy," authored by Karen M. Yoder, Ph.D., M.S.D., and
Burton L. Edelstein, D.D.S., M.P.H., describes the planning, sequential
improvements, and outcomes of Indiana University (News - Alert) School of Dentistry's
(IUSD) Annual Oral Health Policy Forum, a one-day program introducing
students to the health policy process.
"Current public policy measures play a critical role in the quality of
the oral care and dental education we provide throughout the country,"
says Dr. Edelstein, Senior Fellow in Public Policy and President
Emeritus of the Children's Dental Health Project (CDHP), and Professor
of Clinical Dentistry and Clinical Health Policy and Management at
Columbia University. "The health policy forum helps students gain a
broader view of the influence they can have in dentistry throughout
Instituted in 2005 in conjunction with the Indiana Dental Association
and CDHP, IUSD's one-day forum invites fourth-year dental students to
prepare and present arguments on oral health policy scenarios before a
legislator. In the afternoon, students tour the Indiana State House,
observe deliberations, and meet with lawmakers. As reported in the JDE,
nearly half of participating tudents expressed an increased interest in
becoming involved with the political process as a result of the forum.
"Developing advocacy skills helps dental students understand that they
are treated as experts by legislators; they have social capital that can
help those who don't," says Dr. Yoder, Director of Civic Engagement and
Health Policy and Professor of Preventive and Community Dentistry at
IUSD. She also points out that the forum directly complements and
enhances the dynamic work many dental students carry out in community
clinics. "The forum helps students see that they can turn their activism
into social change through well-crafted health policy advocacy."
Among other data, the case study provides best practices for program
implementation. The article notes the effectiveness of universities
cooperating with dental associations to plan a forum that will foster a
well-rounded future workforce. Additionally, engaging university faculty
and administrators and providing incentives for student participants
drove greater attendance.
"This report offers detailed, practical guidelines that other
institutions can use to launch similar programs for their dental
students," adds Dr. Edelstein. "The health policy forum is one of the
most unique opportunities for career and personal development
universities can implement."
According to annual surveys administered after IUSD's forum, positive
feedback from dental student participants grew substantially from 2005
to 2009 as the program incorporated more opportunities for interactivity
with legislators and guest speakers.
"Some of the dental students discover they have tremendous skill when
they argue their point to influence a legislator," says Dr. Yoder. "It's
inspiring and also great fun to see it happen."
Access the full article at www.jdentaled.org.
To learn more about the ADEA Journal of Dental Education, visit www.adea.org.
About the American Dental Education Association
The American Dental Education Association (ADEA) is the voice of dental
education. Its members include all U.S. and Canadian dental schools and
many allied and advanced dental education programs, corporations,
faculty, and students. The mission of ADEA is to lead individuals and
institutions of the dental education community to address contemporary
issues influencing education, research, and the delivery of oral health
care for the health of the public. ADEA's activities encompass a wide
range of research, advocacy, faculty development, meetings, and
communications like the esteemed Journal of Dental Education, as
well as the dental school admissions services AADSAS, PASS, and CAAPID.
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